Through a Jungian Lens

See new site URL –

On Being Both Introvert and Extrovert

with 5 comments

Sliding sideways in the world

I found another image of a crab that I took in the Philippines that I want to bring here.  As I place the image here and begin writing the post, I still don’t know where the words will take me. Often it is like that, like the crab moving sideways through his life, I tend to move sideways into the unconscious process that marks a lot of my writing here at Through a Jungian Lens.  Perhaps this is as much about my nature being born under the sign of Cancer than it is about anything else.

Now, with this association, I begin to see where this post is going to take me, in a direction of attempting a self-description in Jungian terms, but not necessarily Myers-Briggs in orientation. By this, I mean to reduce the sixteen potentials of the MBTI to the original eight descriptors found in Jung’s work on Typology.

My readers might remember that I have tested out, time and time again, as INFP. The problem with this description for me is that it doesn’t account for my extroversion, something I am conscious about, especially when it comes to expression of feelings. Looking at the data of my “testing” I noted that I am predominantly intuitive which translates as my first or dominant function being introverted intuitive – opposite this dominant function is the extroverted sensation, the fourth or weakest function. The second function is extroverted feeling, with the third function being introverted thinking.

The Myers-Briggs model has me described as only introverted for all of the functions. I took a reminder from John Beebe to have me refocus on what Jung had to say and how those who immediately followed Jung’s work, people such as Marie -Louise von Franz, to find a way to place extraversion into my way of being in the world.

As a teacher, I am seen as an extrovert. I monitor the mood of my class, picking up “cues” that allows me to meet the students needs so that the lessons have a better chance of succeeding. I learned a long time ago that a good teacher doesn’t teach a curriculum to students, but rather teaches students a curriculum – there is a difference, a huge difference. Teaching students has the students at the centre. When a lesson starts to fail, it is necessary to find a way of re-connecting with the students in order to find a different path for them to connect with the content (curriculum) objectives.

At Cognitive Processes I found this as a description for extroverted feeling:

The process of extraverted Feeling often involves a desire to connect with (or disconnect from) others and is often evidenced by expressions of warmth (or displeasure) and self-disclosure. The “social graces,” such as being polite, being nice, being friendly, being considerate, and being appropriate, often revolve around the process of extraverted Feeling. Keeping in touch, laughing at jokes when others laugh, and trying to get people to act kindly to each other also involve extraverted Feeling. Using this process, we respond according to expressed or even unexpressed wants and needs of others. We may ask people what they want or need or self-disclose to prompt them to talk more about themselves. This often sparks conversation and lets us know more about them so we can better adjust our behavior to them. Often with this process, we feel pulled to be responsible and take care of others’ feelings, sometimes to the point of not separating our feelings from theirs. We may recognize and adhere to shared values, feelings, and social norms to get along.”

There is a lot of me in this description – meeting the needs of others. Most would describe me ” as being polite, being nice, being friendly, being considerate, and being appropriate” in my role as a teacher and as a member of the community when I am in the public sphere. And yes, I “respond according to expressed or even unexpressed wants and needs of others. If anything, I do this typically putting others ahead of my self. Interesting how this is another way of behaving “crab-like” as I side-step around my own needs in order to meet the needs of others in my life.


Written by Robert G. Longpré

December 18, 2011 at 3:56 pm

5 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. someday I need to take this test. I am curious to see how it compares to the conclusions from my analysis.


    December 19, 2011 at 12:59 pm

  2. Thank you for your description of yourself through a type lens and I enjoyed your use of the crab image. Also, thank you for highlighting the issue of having both an introverted and extraverted side, which I expect it true of many people’s self perception. I would like to pick up on the way in which you have interpreted your MBTI results. It is true that many people make the assumption that the MBTI is telling them that they are only introverted or extraverted, however this is a misunderstanding. The MBTI model of type dynamics in line with the Jungian model assumes that an introvert such as yourself will have an introverted dominant and an extraverted auxiliary. It doesn’t describe you as only introverted on all four functions as you suggest. Interestingly the pattern you describe for yourself would be classed as INFJ, introverting the dominant intuition function and extraverting the feeling function. In the MBTI the direction of the functions are derived from the JP configuration, not the strength of the scores. A Judging type extraverts their judging function, in the case of INFJ this is the feeling function; a perceiving type extraverts their perceiving function, in the case of INFP this is the intuitive function.

    I hope this will go some way to demonstrate that Myers was not as far from a Jungian formulation of type as is sometimes supposed.


    Miranda Forrester

    December 20, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    • Miranda, thank you for bringing another voice to this blog site. In reading your comment, I came to understand how I would indeed have the extraverted judgment as a fourth function using the MBTI. However, Jung (and Bebbe) only speak of the four functions – thinking, intuition, sensation and feeling. The fourth function is one that is most unlikely to ever be made conscious. I have to say that I find your (and the MBTI) understanding makes a lot of sense to me. I do hope that you continue to add comments here in the future. 🙂


      December 22, 2011 at 3:10 pm

  3. Hi Robert,
    I’m pleased that my reply made sense to you, as an MBTI teacher that’s always gratifying. I have been using type for many years and have found it very helpful in understanding my own preferences (INTP). More recently I have been exploring Beebe’s model of the order of the eight function-attitudes in type and find that it gives more depth of insight than the MBTI model. I particularly like the way he links the functions to various archetypes. It explains to me why I have so much trouble with extraverted thinking in my life as it is the oppositional function to my dominant introverted thinking.

    I look forward to reading other thought provoking posts from you.


    Miranda Forrester

    December 22, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: